Michele has a great attitude. Her ambition is set up her own station. I believe she'll do this. She's new to radio so she sent me a link asking for my advice. Here it is.
Ok. I’ve been training beginner presenters for eighteen years now. I’m old fashioned, so I say things as they are. If you don’t take it personally and you’re up for improving your shows, then I’ll begin!
Your music levels often clash with your speech levels. You need to watch this. Often I can’t hear what you’re saying as the music underneath your presenter link is too loud.
00:18 - 00:47
Relax! It sounds like you’re reading your links from a script. In the early days, I get all my presenters to type out their scripts. Later on, they can move over to a bullet system if they want to. However, we need to write how we speak. If you’d say to your friends: “I’m going down to the pub,” then on your script type those exact words.
Read this short blog on writing in a conversational way.
And give this a read as well.
Should Radio Presenters Type Their Shows Out?
Next, practice reading the link aloud until it sounds natural. Actors do this with their lines, so I encourage all my presenters to do this. The written word and the spoken word can sound very different, so we need to practice reading our scripts aloud. NB: You only have to script for the early days.
At the moment your presenter voice sounds a bit unnatural. This is ok as it’s just practice. For my first few shows, I sounded very wooden; however, I kept listening back to my shows, I kept analysing my shows, and I kept practicing my presenter links until they sounded natural. I encourage you to listen back to every show that you do and critically analyse it. Ask yourself, what worked? Why did it work? What didn’t work? Why didn’t it work? If you do this, you’ll begin to get a format.
How to be a Radio DJ in Four Easy Steps
Levels..the music's too loud under your voice. Again, your presentation needs to be more relaxed. Think like this, would you speak this..slowly..to..your..friends.. in ..the pub?
No. Why? Because they’d think you're a loon. Many beginner presenters slow down their speaking voice when reading from a script, however, remember radio is a spoken medium. We need to present like we speak. This is just practice. The more shows you do, the more relaxed you’ll become.
Don’t talk over the vocals of a song. Either present your link (your information) over the opening music or give it at the end of the song. Talking over the vocals is a big no no. Listeners won’t forgive you this.
Talking over vocals.
Your content...it’s the same as the previous link. Giving the listener the song and chart position for the entire show is boring. Read this on finding more ideas for your show.
This link is the same as the others. You’ve got to mix it up and give the listener some different content. Again you’re talking over the vocals.
The music is slightly loud under your link. Same issue as the previous link.
19:38 = same issues
The music levels are too loud. The link is the same as the others.
Same issues. Don’t talk over the vocals.
The first station branding! We need more of this. Who are you? Who are we listening to? The presenter link is very boring. From now on, start thinking about giving the listener different information.
Same presenter link. You’ve got to vary this up.
Is Billy Joel rock? The music levels are too loud and clash with your voice. Your giving the listener the same information. Again you're talking over the vocals.
Talking over the song vocals. Same presenter information.
Levels, talking over vocals, identical presenter information.
Same as above.
The music levels are too loud. You present new information; however, you’re talking over the vocals again.
Music levels are too loud. Presenting is very stiff.
All of the beginner presenters I train start off by not prepping their shows. Three weeks in, they then realise it takes a lot of work to prepare a radio show. Sometimes it can take two to three days prep to make an awesome one-hour radio show. And do you know what? It’s a lot of work. Yes, it sucks sometimes, but no prep = a poor show. Remember this, crap in = crap out.
All my beginner presenters start off with short, boring links (this is... that was...) After I've whipped them..they end up presenting excellent, well-researched shows. I'm always impressed.
You need to research far more information than: “this is... and this is their chart position.” You can’t say this for every link. If you do, it'll just get boring for the listener. Your show needs to be like a journey. It needs a beginning, middle, and end. If you can get a theme for your show, then that can be cool. Every presenter link that you present needs a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t just open up the mic and talk aimlessly..have a purpose for EVERYTHING that you say.
Watch your levels. Make sure the music doesn’t clash with your voice. This is important. If we can’t hear you, then why should we listen to you?
Don’t talk over the vocals. Vary your intro’s, vary your exits.
Give more station and show branding. Who are you? What station are you? What is the name of your show? Why should we listen to you etc.?
Finally. You have a good attitude so don’t give up. Keep on prepping, keep on analysing your shows and keep on practicing. If you do this, you will get better.
Read my "How to Be a Radio DJ in Four Easy Steps" course.
There’s some good information there. And also read my ‘serious’ blogs. The comedy ones are a bit of fun, but they do teach as well! Hehe!
Also..listen to the professionals. Study what they do. Ask yourself..why do their links and shows sound good?
And now for coffee!
Old hospital radio days. Check out the PC!
I've been training community radio presenters for eighteen years now. I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over again. If you want me to listen to one hour of your show and give you feedback, then drop me an email with a link to your show online. Use the snappy phrase of...."Can you give me feedback on my show pretty please Mr. Radio Bloke?"
Ashley Cowan runs the Online Radio School where he tutors in radio presenting and media interviewing techniques. In his spare time, he's a volunteer trainer for Whitechapel AM, the hospital radio station for The Royal London Hospital, East London. There he's created an eight-week practical radio presenter training course. All volunteers at Whitechapel AM get free training and free access to his five-hour online radio presenter course. He's also decided to practice writing (ahem!) comedy. Expect to groan (and maybe sob!) when you read his comedy training blogs. He has to practice on someone!
In more of his spare time, he's London Irish (so he likes a beer). He's recently created an online "Fingerpicking for Guitar" course. There he teaches the art of fingerpicking for... erm...guitar. Students can learn twenty different fingerpicking styles for their chords.
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